I kind of dig Romney’s soulless thirst for power

by Sonny Bunch on February 4, 2012

Peter Suderman has an excellent piece in the upcoming issue of Reason on Mitt Romney entitled “Consultant in Chief.” Here’s Peter on Romney’s political, ah, transience:

Pick any political issue, and there’s a good chance Romney has taken more than one position on it. He has been both ardently pro-life and staunchly pro-choice. He has described immigration reform proposals that create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants as both “reasonable” and an intolerable form of amnesty. He  supported caps on campaign spending and new taxes designed to create a public funding source for elections, then denounced the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act for “hurt[ing] First Amendment Rights.” In 1994 he proudly noted his lack of alignment with the National Rifle Association while supporting waiting periods for gun purchases and bans on the sale of assault weapons; in 2006 he joined the NRA, praising its work in defense of the Second Amendment.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I understand why my friends on the right are worried about a Clintonian triangulator with no real moral or ideological underpinnings winning the GOP nomination. If I was an ardent pro-life, anti-illegal-immigrant type, I’d be kind of concerned about what he’ll do when he’s in office.

At the same time, I totally dig Romney’s soulless thirst for power — his unquenchable belief that saying whatever it takes to win is not simply okay, but totally justified. I’d like to point out that I’m not being sarcastic here: I find something genuinely, deeply honest about his rampant, blinding dishonesty. I also think it might be exactly what the nation needs right now.

You’ve heard the story about how the Romneys drove hundreds of miles with the family dog on the roof of the car? And that the dog, as dogs are wont to do, had to go to the bathroom and dog poop was smeared down the back window and as the kids were cracking up/freaking out Mitt calmly pulled over to the side of the road, hosed the car down, and got back on the highway?

America is that dog. Or maybe America’s the car and we’re the dog, shitting all over ourselves and our country as we demand more goods and services and lower taxes and peace and trade and jobs and protectionism and freedom. We need someone who can pull over to the side of the road and calmly clean up the multi-trillion dollar mess we made. We don’t need someone who hears “Honey, the dog is pooping all over the car” and says “Well, that’s why we need to return to the gold standard!” or “Well, that’s why we need to travel to the moon and set up moon-mining operations!” or “Well, that’s why we should spend trillions of dollars reinventing our health care system!”

We don’t need an ideologue. We need someone who can clean the crap off the back of the car. That’s why I’m not too worried about Romney’s position on the ideological issues of the day: We have bigger problems.

That being said, the very next paragraph in Peter’s story gives me pause:

If flip-flopping is Romney’s greatest weakness, his business experience is probably his greatest strength. But can the two be separated? Consultants don’t have ideology; they have strategy. Their job is to take their current client’s side, whatever it is, and put a good polish on it while restoring whatever’s underneath.

America doesn’t need a yes-man right now, it needs someone who can actually set us straight. Hopefully we get a tough consultant instead of the one who just wants to keep his clients happy.

(Photo by Gage Skidmore)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Will February 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm

This perfectly captures why I might pull the trigger for Romnizzle. His brand of soulless competence is strangely comforting.

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